New Delhi: One of the highlights of the grand finale and the most keenly awaited segment of the parade, the Fly Past saw for the first time the participation by a “Tri-service Formation” comprising a ‘Trishul’ formation by three ALH helicopters representing the synergy between the three Services – Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
The formation, flying at a speed of 180 km/hour, was led by IAF Group Captain Abhishek Shukla, commanding officer of 116 Helicopter Unit. The Army pilot was Lieutenant Colonel Atul Srivastava and the Navy’s was Commander Ajay Yadav.
This formation clearly showcased to the world that the country now has armed forces with a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) at the helm which was created after the August 15 announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
The flypast gave the spectators a glimpse of the latest acquisitions to the country’s defence Apache helicopters, Dornier aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, Netra, an Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) aircraft and the ‘Globe’ formation comprising three C-17 Globemasters. Five Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft and five MiG-29 Upgrade Air Superiority Fighters in ‘Arrowhead’ formation enthralled the audience with their exhilarating Trishul manoeuvre by Su-30 MKIs. The parade ended with a Su-30 MKI splitting the sky with a breath taking ‘Vertical Charlie’ aerobatic manoeuvre.
The other first was the flypast of Chinook and Apache helicopters. Three Chinook helicopters were flying in ‘Vic’ formation at 180 km/hour. The Chinook heavy lift helicopters were inducted into the IAF in March.
The Apache attack helicopters flew past in a group of five. The battle proven machines were inducted into the IAF in September last year, boosting Air Force’s capabilities to hit cross-border terrorist launch pads.